THE Leader of Thurrock Council has hit out at a lack of government support which has put one of the most innovative regeneration schemes in the country at risk.
Cllr John Kent said this week: “I was shocked and disappointed to learn that British Airways are mothballing their proposal for a multi-million pound investment in the east of Thurrock at the Thames Enterprise Park on the former Coryton refinery site.
“A story in the national papers said BA is blaming a lack of government support – along with the fall in oil prices – is forcing it to at least postpone the Â£340 million scheme to use over half a million tonnes of London’s rubbish into jet fuel.
“It was expected to open in 2017 and known as ‘The Green Sky project’ it was a key ingredient in the whole Coryton regeneration plan.
“This is a missed opportunity for kick-starting a brand new economic sector as well as bringing a major international business into the Thames Gateway – something that would have delivered hundreds of jobs and something the council has been working hard with developers to bring here.”
Cllr Kent added: “Over past decades Thurrock has suffered as the dumping ground for London’s rubbish. This project stood that history on its head, was tremendously advanced, pioneering and innovative and would have put this country at the forefront of this type of technology.
“I hope that opportunity has not been lost.”
He added that he had written to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, about the issue.